The Beckford Arms
- Style Great Brit-inn
- Setting Tisbury’s walkers’ wonderland
An impeccably appointed, well-kept country inn near Tisbury in Wiltshire, The Beckford Arms hotel is revitalized and better than ever after a fire temporarily shut it down in 2010. Weary country walkers will sink gratefully into soft overstuffed sofas beside open fireplaces after a hearty English meal accompanied by excellent local ales and bitters. The eight rooms look and feel modern, but a closer look shows a dedication to traditional materials such as stone and wood, with accents like woven wool blankets, fresh-cut wild flowers and handmade natural toiletries.
Need to know
- Rooms Eight rooms.
- Rates Double rooms from $129.35 (£79), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates usually include breakfast.
- Facilities Gardens, private dining room, petanque piste, library including DVDs, and free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock and the hotel’s home-made Bramley toiletries.
- Check–out 11am. Check-in from 3pm (flexible, depending on availability).
Children Little Smiths are more than welcome, with cots provided free for babies, extra beds for £25 a night, and babysitting with a local nanny available (book two days in advance). The restaurant has a menu tailored to tots.
- Also If you want your dog to join you, book Room 6.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Room 1, nestled into the corner of the building above the sitting room, is one of the larger rooms, with both bath and shower. Room 5 is a cosy suntrap, with elegant mirrored bedside tables and a small stone fireplace. Note to big packers: the Beckford's rooms don't have wardrobes, just wall pegs and hangers.
- Packing tips Walking attire; a classic Agatha Christie for fireside reading; bed socks and big knits for snuggling up on the sofa; a dog.
- Also Book a massage or personal training session with the hotel’s in-house therapist Angela Parsons – great value at £30–£45 for treatments lasting an hour or longer.
Food and drink at The Beckford Arms
- Hotel restaurant Pravin Nayar has returned to the Beckford with a menu of old favourites. Making headlines in its homemade fare is the local produce, pork pies and zingy piccalilli, the house burger, Brixham fish 'n' chips, and suckling pig on the open fire. Fans of all-day brunching can pounce on eggs Benedict, waffles and Bloody Marys, and those feeling like a family-style Sunday roast can order a chicken to carve at the table.
- Dress code Blend in with the locals by sporting shooting-chic: tweed, wools and russet hues, accessorised with Hunter wellies.
- Top table Choose according to your mood; tables in the pub make for a sociable and relaxed setting, the sitting room is the place for a DVD-dinner, and the conservatory is bright and airy, with its pale wood panelling, gilt-framed mirrors and garden views.
- Last orders Breakfast is served in the conservatory from 8am to 10am (though late-risers can request a brunch-type timing), lunch is 12–3pm, and dinner is dished up between 6pm and 9pm.
- Room service No room service, but you can plunder in-room nibbles such as pork pies and crisps from the bar.
- Hotel bar Loyal locals head here for the ales and bitters, the cosy country pub atmosphere and the relaxed setting – wooden beams, parquet flooring and roaring fire. There is a large oval table by the bay window, perfect for a group of friends, and every Sunday, the bar hosts a cinema night (check the blackboard by the fire to see what’s showing). Look out for the collection of antique silver teapots.